ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC), through its subsidiary CDC Regional NT Pty Ltd, has won a Northern Territory Government tender under a five-year contract as sole operator of new school bus transport services in Tennant Creek.
The commencement of the new services on 30 January 2024, the first day of Term 1, marks a significant milestone for the remote township with the introduction of dedicated school bus services for the first time.
It will be the first time CDC has delivered services in the Barkly region, located approximately 1,000km south of Darwin and 500km north of Alice Springs.
The contract will see eight services created for four new routes to support students travelling to and from Tennant Creek Primary School and Tennant Creek High School.
Minister for Education, Eva Lawler said:
“This is an important barrier broken down to ensure each child, no matter where they live, goes to school every day.
“Tennant Creek Primary and High School do an incredible job providing a high level of education to student’s from right across the Barkly region.
“As this is the first ever dedicated school bus service in Tennant Creek, we are confident we will see increases in student attendance and enrolments, whilst additionally creating more jobs and long term employment across the region.”
CDC Regional Australia Division CEO Tony Hopkins said the company was thrilled to announce its expansion into the region.
“We look forward to beginning services in Tennant Creek next year. Our commitment to providing exceptional transportation extends beyond just buses, it’s about building connections within the community. These services are not just about buses and routes, they are about the possibilities that they bring to our customers lives.
“We’re very pleased that the Northern Territory Government is expanding its partnership with CDC, a long-term operator which has invested significantly in its Northern Territory operations, including some of Australia’s most remote locations,” he said.
Mr Hopkins said CDC’s Tennant Creek fleet would consist of four new 30-seater buses and the company would soon begin recruiting local drivers.
“We are encouraging locals who are interested in joining our group as casual school bus drivers to contact us for information about available positions.
“We are currently offering a special $1000 sign-on bonus for eligible employees joining us in Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. For those new to bus driving in the NT, we offer fully paid driver training programs with free licence upgrade and on-the-job training, which is valued at up to $5000,” he said.
Mr Hopkins said Tennant Creek school bus drivers will only require a Light Rigid (LR) license rather than the Medium Rigid and Heavy Rigid licenses required to drive larger school buses and heavy vehicles.
“If you have a car driving license and good driving record and may be considering a career shift or change of pace heading into retirement, this is a great opportunity to join one of the country’s largest bus operators, and earn while you learn.
“As well as employing and training local people, we look forward to engaging with Tennant Creek suppliers to assist our local business operations,” Mr Hopkins said.
The news of the Tennant Creek contract comes after CDC was awarded 100 per cent of the government’s Darwin, Palmerston, and rural area contract for urban and school bus services in July 2022.
As the Northern Territory’s largest urban and school bus operator, CDC also services communities in Alice Springs, Humpty Doo, Jabiru, and Batchelor regions.